Charmaine Blake is the ZZZ-list self-proclaimed "craziest publicist in town".
Charmaine Blake is the ZZZ-list self-proclaimed "craziest publicist in town".
Somewhere in Benedict Canyon, the ghost of Cary Grant is muttering, "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe!" But since the (BS) artist formerly known as Number 8 was on our list just two weeks ago, we give you this starting five instead.
Wes Craven: Scarier than "The Hills Have Eyes II," funnier than "Pauly Shore is Dead," this week's battle royale between the 67-year-old horror meister and his wild card Hollywood Hills neighbor Pauly Shore -- might be the silliest lawsuit since Tara Reid sued that Las Vegas condo developer for a billboard that invited her to come "let it all hang out." Couldn't Craven have settled this some other way than a Superior Court motion claiming "severe emotional distress and anxiety?" Like, maybe by getting The Weasel to promise never to slip a script under Craven's door? Adding insult to injury is the fact that when TMZ.com followed up its exclusive report with a friendly housecall, it was Craven's peep -- not Shore -- who acted like that high school bully for whom the filmmaker allegedly named Freddy Krueger.
We were all witnesses this week to LeBron James learning some hard lessons at the hands of the future Mr. Eva Longoria. And King James' 0-4 flameout was echoed in the Zone by similarly cavalier behavior.
Angelina Jolie: She looked fantastic Thursday on "Larry King Live," but her mighty machinations the day before were just plain ugly. Hours before the New York premiere of her film "A Mighty Heart," Angelina unsuccessfully tried to have FOX News banned from the red carpet and get reporters who wanted to interview her to sign a consent form guaranteeing no personal questions, no future repurposing of the interview, and so on. This is a time-honored practice dating all the way back past "Eyes Wide Shut," but predictably, to do this for a film about journalistic heroism -- and one whose premiere benefited the non-profit advocacy group Reporters Without Borders -- sent media types over the edge. Angelina may be the top ranked actress on this week's Forbes Celebrity 100 (she's #14 on the list), but when she told Larry she has "great empathy" for journalists, she sounded about as phony as a three-dollar bill.
Meteorologically speaking, this weekend marks the official beginning of "June gloom" in Los Angeles, a period during which each day begins with a deep fog. But some celebs chose to get an early jump on the foggy phenomenon.
Kobe Bryant: During a week when Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James logged one of the greatest playoff performances in NBA history (as well as classiest post-game press conference), KB went public with his whining and clanged one off the respectability rim not once, or twice but ... oh hell, who's counting anymore? It all ended with Lakers owner Jerry Buss making time (before his annual vacation in Italy) to assure his star that all efforts will be made to turn the team into a contender again. And sure enough, rumors were flying at press time about a possible trade involving Indiana Pacer Jermaine O'Neal. But wait ... does Kobe really want to shack up with another guy named O'Neal? Doesn't he remember what happened last time, all of this week's Shaq rift denials notwithstanding?
Lindsay Lohan's mom insists she never told Star Magazine that her nickname is "The White Oprah," a moniker born of her willingness to listen to her friends' problems. And Oprah's dad has denied reports he is writing a tell-all book. But not everyone this week got off so lucky.
Anne Heche: She does girl-on-girl, she does guy-on-girl. Heck, she can even talk dirty in an alien language if that's your thing. But apparently, none of this was enough to satisfy 34-year-old hubby Coleman "Coley" Laffoon, who Anne claimed has spent a great deal of their marriage surfing the Internet for porn. It's all part of Hollywood's latest nasty divorce battle, with custody of five-year-old son Homer hanging in the balance. The title of Heche's 2001 autobiography is "Call Me Crazy," and that's just what Laffoon has been doing, criticizing her parenting skills in his court filings. Meanwhile, Heche's Christian mom once claimed to have cured her daughter's lesbianism through prayer -- so maybe she can dial up the Big Guy again to ensure Laffoon gets nowhere near the $45,000 a month he is asking from the "Men in Trees" wackadoodle.
George Lopez lost a bunch of money this week because of Geico, whose cavemen characters helped nudge him off the ABC-TV grid. At least Lopez made it to the promised land of syndication; others in the annual network TV upfront derby weren't so lucky.
Paul Haggis: On the film side, Haggis, who shares his hometown of London, Ontario with hottie couple Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams -- is used to making history. He's the only screenwriter responsible for back-to-back Best Pictures ("Million Dollar Baby" and "Crash"). But on the small screen, his much ballyhooed NBC drama "The Black Donnelly's" is simply ... history. Maybe Haggis should have taken the hint when the network relegated an eighth episode, "God is a Comedian," to the realm of iTunes because it was deemed too violent. Squeezed in between "The Departed" and "The Sopranos," this story of four brothers in an Irish mob family wound up not having the luck of their brethren.
There will be three more seasons of "Lost," and most likely, three more "Spider-Man" movies. But here at the Z List, we're much more intrigued by the fact that Eddie Murphy is now working on a big screen version of "Fantasy Island" -- with the screenwriters responsible for "Norbit." Da Pain! Da Pain!
Tom Sizemore: The actor was in Bakersfield, CA to film the low-budget "American Graffiti" knockoff "American Son," and he decided to take a detour on Tuesday for a lost episode of his VH1 reality TV series, "Shooting Sizemore." After film co-star and parolee Jason Salcido challenged a hotel desk clerk to a fight, Sizemore was caught allegedly in possession of two small bags of crystal meth and a smoking pipe, leading to an on-location booking scene at the downtown slammer.
News of a Toastee Toof sex tape this week caused about as much excitement as the notion of "Flavor of Love 3." So instead, we prefer to hit rewind on some of the folks who embarrassed themselves with their clothes on.
Paris Hilton: Somewhere, deep down in Nostradamus' predictions, we believe the great seer foresaw that when both "Girls Gone Wild" guru Joe Francis and Bentley fender bender Paris Hilton were simultaneously served with jail time, it would be a portentous sign that the party was coming to an end. In the wake of yesterday's 45 days probation violence sentence, everything suddenly takes on new meaning for Paris: her cell, her sidekick, her bitch ... and who would have thought that of all the recent celebrity DUI-ers, it would be the unflappable Ms. Hilton who would get yanked straight past Malibu rehab to actually pay for her crime. It's a bonanza, of course, for us here at TMZ, but September 7, 2006 (the date she was arrested in Hollywood last fall) is now her September 11.
Sheryl Crow insists she was only joking when she wrote on her website that we should each limit ourselves to one square of toilet paper per restroom visit. But at week's end, these folks were still squarely stuck on the hot seat!
Luke Wilson: This "Frat Pack" member may need to turn in his Hollywood fraternity card and seek the less swanky digs of the "Flat Pack." It doesn't matter what the genre is; gooey romance ("Alex & Emma"), goofy romance ("My Super Ex-Girlfriend"), crime comedy ("Mini's First Time"), sci-fi ("Idiocracy"), family entertainment ("Hoot") or shock horror ("Vacancy"). In each case, Owen and Andrew's younger bro has been a box office no-show. Wilson is hoping that by cozying up to Jessica Simpson for his next release, the romantic comedy "Blonde Ambition," he can bring his tenure as the "Ashley" of the Wilson clan to an end. If that fails, he may want to follow in the footsteps of his fellow Occidental College alum, Ben Affleck -- and try his hand at directing.
Hugh Grant: Just a few months ago, the British actor was the subject of fawning profiles in magazines such as Vogue, all of which celebrated the "Music and Lyrics" star as a misunderstood genius. Turns out that may all be a load of baked beans. Listen up, mate: When you choose to still live on the same street as your leggy ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley, chances are the paparazzi will regularly try to push you past the edge of reason. And if you're going to get into a rugby scrum with a photographer, like the fracas this past Tuesday, for God's sake choose your weapons more wisely. Groceries, no; those keys you had in your other hand, better. A Divine Brown bobble head -- perfect!
Senator John McCain: The Beltway's answer to Bob Hope needs to hire new joke writers, and fast. On the heels of his misguided cover version of the Beach Boys classic "Barbara Ann" (he sang it as "Bomb Iran"), the man who has made more appearances on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" than any other guest began his latest appearance this week with a bomb. Literally. By joking that he had considered bringing back an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) from his recent visit to Iraq and plant it under Stewart's desk, McCain foolishly trivialized the number one cause of U.S. casualties in the Iraq war. Put it this way: If Senator John Kerry had made the remark, right wing bloggers would be calling for his head -- again.
In a perfect Zone, the forthcoming sex tape from Season Two "American Idol" contestant Olivia Mojica would play out to the sounds of William Hung's "She Bangs," but for this sorry lot, a simple funeral march will suffice.
Don Imus: We had Don on last week's list, but since then, events have conspired to put him in the running for This Year's Biggest Loser. Stripped of his MSNBC simulcast and WFAN-AM syndicated morning radio show, he's now pushing the control buttons of "Imus in the Mourning." Would producer Bernie McGurk's ill-fated comments have sparked as big a furor had they been exchanged with a top-selling rap artist? You know, the kind that keeps radio parent company Viacom in the green via MTV and BET? Hard to say, but with the loss of Howard Stern and now the 66-year-old Imus, CBS Radio is suffering a serious case of jock shock.
Here's an idea: why don't porn star Ron Jeremy and talk radio tub Tom Leykis sign each other's racks and call it a day? Until that Arbitron ratings book-buster, here's the lowdown on some other boobs ...
Keith Richards: Given that Johnny Depp has tipped his pirate hat to the rocker for helping inspire the stagger of Captain Jack Sparrow, call this one "Dead Man's Jest." The Rolling Stones guitarist swears he was only kidding when he told the UK's "New Musical Express" (NME) that he once snorted cocaine mixed with some of his dad Bert's ashes. Forget the fact that the journalist who interviewed him, Mark Beaumont and a boatload of fans worldwide are not buying the recant. The real questions now are: a) Can anything Richards does on screen as Jack's father Teague in next month's "At World's End" top this scenario?; and, b) If the Stones do tour again, will Richards be able to get through his signature song, "Before They Make Me Run," and the lyric "Booze and pills and powders, you can choose your medicine" without the lighters turning to laughter?
Don't cry for K-Fed; rounding off his divorce settlement at $1 million for 25 months of matrimony, that means he got paid $17,857.14 a week for his husbandly chores. No, if you do anything this weekend, shed a crocodile tear for the following K-Oed bunch.
Daniel Sadek: The real-estate-investor-turned-film-producer willingly crashed a couple of his Porsche Carrera GTs during the making of "Redline," a $26 million action flick he is personally financing. But Monday's charity race rehearsal business with co-star Eddie Griffin and a $1.5 million Ferrari Enzo was entirely unscripted, a sort of weird anniversary celebration of last year's similar Malibu Enzo dust-up involving Swedish swindler Bo Stefan Eriksson. To his credit, Sadek was able to put the loss in the proper materialistic perspective during a brief, 15-minute private trailer mourning. But for Griffin, forget about "Undercover Brother," the film he jokingly referenced afterwards. This is more like that brief one-year marriage the class clown engaged in while still in high school.
Spring is definitely in the air, what with the hint of rehab romance (Britney), community service romance (Naomi) and titanic onscreen reunion romance (Kate and Leo cast in Dreamworks' "Revolutionary Road"). But for others, this week proved to be as thorny as a rose bush.
Mel Gibson: To paraphrase your "Lethal Weapon" LAPD partner Murtaugh, "This s**t's getting old." As reported exclusively by TMZ, the 51-year-old Aussie gave first-time director Russell Crowe ("The Bra Boys") a lesson on how NOT to field questions from the audience Thursday night, when he unleashed a Northridge earthquake of his own. CSUN Assistant Professor of Central American Studies Alicia Estrada dared to question the historical accuracy of Mel's "Apocalypto." In going Mayan on her ass, he swapped out last summer's invective "Hey Sugar Tits!" for the less flirty come-on "Lady, f**k off!" But c'mon, Mel! Seriously, you're done at this point on the apology trail; just cut to the chase and start working on a script for "The Michael Richards Story."
On this weekend's edition of "60 Minutes," Simon Cowell tells Anderson Cooper that he regrets saying no to a Hollywood couple who wanted to pay him $100,000 for a private critique of their bedroom lovemaking.
If only the following folks had also been blessed with the wisdom to remain behind closed doors this week.
At the movies this weekend, it's all about 300 Spartans preparing for glory, but for the Z List, it's all about five celebrities who should be sorry.
Ann Coulter: The blonde bombshell of right wing punditry was officially inducted into the exclusive boys club of Michael Richards, Mel Gibson and Isaiah Washington, as major fallout continued to build in the wake of her derogatory description of Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards. A number of newspapers have dropped her column, she's lost a bunch of website sponsors, and all of a sudden, perhaps for the first time, even her fans are looking past the long legs and long locks. Hasn't Coulter learned anything from Hollywood's terrible trio? You don't deem it a "schoolyard taunt;" you apologize, as quickly and as contritely as you can.
Anna Nicole is dead, and finally buried in the Bahamas. But let's not forget these folks, for whom the week also felt
somewhat like their funeral.
Antonella Barba: We're fine with all those nude photos, even the X-rated ones that friends claim are not her. We're also fine with the fact that sympathy for the bedeviled, rather than perhaps sheer talent, kept the 20-year-old from being trounced this week from "American Idol." But to compare yourself -- in the face of some Simon criticism on Wednesday -- to Jennifer Hudson, the very same week that the best set of pipes ever to grace the Fox juggernaut won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar? C'mon. We hate to break it to you, but right now, you're only the "dream girl" of a very narrow contingent of avid Internet-surfing males.